A Question of Hormones

2/05/2012 The Closer 9 Comments

Dear Lovely Ladies of the Anti-Austen blog,

I've written in before and absolutely love your dating advice, so I decided to give it a go again. I have been friends with The Amigo for almost 2 years. We've been on plenty of dates during that time, but have never really done anything more than just go out as really good friends. I feel like I know him better than almost anyone and know that I am most like myself when I'm around him. We're talking best friends here. I've gone around forever saying that we're platonic soul-mates and mourning the fact I was never attracted to him (not that he's not attractive. I actually think he's quite good looking. There's just never been that spark, you know?) 

Anyway, there was this girl's choice stake dance last weekend and I felt guilty not going, so I asked the Amigo. He said he'd go, but only if we could go Latin dancing afterwards. I love latin dancing, so off we went on Friday night to shake our hips all night long. There we were, just salsa-ing the night away when--Bam! Out of nowhere, this huge rush of hormones hits me and I realize--wait a second, I am attracted to this man! It was an epiphany that has kept me confused for the last couple of days, but I'm pretty sure that it's a done deal--I like this guy as more than a friend now.

Part of me is overjoyed. This is exactly what I've been wanting! (Not to mention Mr. Knightley, the best friend turned lover has always been my favorite Austen gentleman--how perfect would that be??) However, the other part of me is worried. What if he doesn't like me in that way? Even if he does, how do I express my interest without ruining our friendship? I see him every day, so the awkward factor is not something I could just ignore. So, lovely Anti-Austen ladies, do you have advice for me? I know we talk about friend-zoning all the time, but how am I supposed to get myself out?? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

The Amiga

Oh Mi Amiga, 

This is certainly a tricky one isn't it? I'm excited to work through this with you as my first official advice post! I have been mulling over your question for a couple of days now and have a several thoughts that I would like to share. 

My first thought is for you to take a certain amount of time, maybe a week or two, and see if these hormones stick around. I don't know why, but I have had several moments with close guy friends where all of the sudden I find myself wanting to be in their arms. At first it feels a lot like it did for you, but often times, whatever sensual situation or fluctuation of pheromones that caused the feeling is gone and now I'm back to being satisfied with a solid high-five. Ugh. Lady hormones. I will say that there have been many other times when all of the sudden, I realize I'm attracted to someone, and it sticks, and hopefully that's where you are too! Who doesn't want to date/marry/have loads of babies with their best friend? (In that order preferably) 

Once you have established that your body does indeed want his body, we can address the conundrum of what to do about it. I think there are a couple of questions that you need to ask yourself. 

1. Are you willing to live without the friendship in order to find out if it could be something more?

With every investment we make, we have to decide that we are indeed willing to live with the potential loss. Granted we get to evaluate how high risk this investment is, so that is something for you to consider as well. If knowing that you did everything you could to date him would be worth losing the friendship, then that is a very telling thing for you. 

2. If you are being really honest with yourself, do you believe that he likely does have feelings for you?

Like we saw in the infamous video that's already been blogged about here, it would appear that men are not as great at having a "friend zone" as girls are. Especially if you have been on plenty of dates. I don't think that many guys will spend that much time/effort/money on a girl unless they are hoping for something more. If you honestly believe that this is the case, well, that certainly makes things easier!

Now that you have asked yourself those two questions, if both answers are yes, then I can tell you a couple of ways I've seen friends transition into dating:

-Tell him how you are feeling: "Hey Amigo, can we talk? I've recently started to feel like I like you as more than a friend. Have you ever felt that way about me? Do you think we should try dating?" Something along those lines. 

-Increase physical touch. If you're feeling a rush of hormones, it's likely that he's picking up on some of that same chemistry. Sit closer to him on the couch, touch his arm/knee more, offer a shoulder massage. See how much you can play off that chemistry to see if it's reciprocated and maybe before you know it you'll be cuddling and will have something more tangible to have a conversation about. 

-Ask him to take you on a real date. I've seen this request alone jolt a guy into realizing that it's time to step it up and that he wants to after all. And then he still gets to instigate things in a lot of ways, which is always a good thing.

Ways that I haven't seen work but maybe they will for you:

-Run up and kiss him on the mouth
-Start introducing him as your boyfriend
-Talk about how cute your kids are going to be
-Next time you go to his place, walk in and say "Honey, I'm home!"
-Set him up with really awful girls so he realizes how amazing you are more quickly
-Take him on a hot air balloon ride for Valentines Day

Voila! You should have things all worked out in no time. 

All joking aside (those last suggestions were jokes, in case the text-based sarcasm didn't make it through) I wish you lot of luck. You're probably going to have to do some tough things that are going to require some bravery if you really want to find out what's there. Just remember how great it will feel to know that you can do hard things once you've made it through. Good luck!

Yours Truly, 

The Closer

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Jaclyn said...

I have a favorite quote that says "It is a risk to love. What if it doesn't work out? Ah, but what if it does?"

Think of it this way. If you and The Amigo don't date, and just stay friends, eventually one or both of you will get married. And then you will still be friends, but you will spend significantly less time together. So, even if telling The Amigo how you feel makes you less close as friends, if he doesn't reciprocate, it will happen eventually anyways.

On the other hand, if you tell him and he DOES reciprocate, you will be very happy.

My suggestion would be to say "I understand if you don't feel the same way, and I promise to do everything I can to make this non-awkward if that's the case, but I really like you." Or something like that.

Juichi said...

From the guy side, I second all of the advice so far. It's still funny to me how much physical touch is advertised on this blog (did I miss this section in Finding a Girlfriend 101?).
Amiga, if you're friend-zoned, either the guy's scared to take it to the next level, sees you as incompatible but fun to hang out with, or most likely, has some interest but sees none in you. You make it obvious that your end has changed, and you'll know within a week (90% of the time) where he stands.

Anonymous said...

Last week, I encountered the perfect anonymous quote. I hope it helps you!

"Take risks.
If you win, you'll be happy.
If you lose, you'll be wise."

Kimbo Slice said...

I'll tell you what you got to do. You got to take him and kiss him. And just kiss the crap outta him!

Ally :) said...

As scary as it is, if you think the risk is worth it, go for it. Don't look back, don't hold back, say it like it is. Being the best friend in this situation sucks (trust me, ive been there) but to go ahead and tell him how you feel, if anything, will bring a closer friendship. He'll be flattered, if anything, that you are interested. You guys can always stay friends :)

The Coquette said...

I second the motion of just kissing him. I've been actually considering the idea. If it goes well, great, if not just leave laughing so it seems like a gimmick. Gotta love it. Am I joking about this? I honestly don't know.

Anonymous said...

Oh Coquette! It's fun to see you alive and kicking ha ha!

Anonymous said...

The motion has been made and seconded. It's time to put it to a vote. All those in favor of just kissing him, say I.

I (Two I's if this man is me - it's not, but if it ever is...).

(As a side-note, the captcha for this post is manketty, which sounds a lot like man-kitty and makes me laugh)

Anonymous said...

If he is your best friend and not dating anyone then go for it. Just because you are friends doesn't mean it can't be more. I don't understand this whole idea that dating always has to start out with dating that person in mind. The person that you will marry will be your best friend; there is no rule that says he can't be your best friend before you start dating. I understand it is hard and can be awkward, but it can also become something beautiful and amazing. Don't let unfounded social norms stop something amazing from happening.